By now it’s become apparent to anyone that’s paying attention that Brandon Weeden is not going to work out as the starting quarterback of the Cleveland Browns. Jason Campbell has given them a slight lift recently, but there’s no getting around the fact that the Browns will once again be trying find a quarterback early in the 2014 NFL Draft. There will be a lot of quarterbacks with NFL potential coming out of college next year and a lot of options for the Browns to choose from, but the guy they should be eying is Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Cleveland has played it too safe with the quarterbacks they’ve drafted in the past, taking guys like Weeden and Brady Quinn, both of whom didn’t come close to panning out. Instead of going down that path again, the Browns need to take a chance on someone that could be high risk but also high reward, and Manziel is just that kind of player.
Manziel is far from the prototypical quarterback, but maybe that’s not what the Browns need. Aside from not having strong quarterback play over the years the Browns have also lacked stars at the skill positions, but a quarterback that can improvise and make plays outside the pocket the way Manziel does can help make up for shortcomings elsewhere on the roster.
Moreover, the Browns need to make a splash in the draft for once. They need to draw some attention to themselves around the league and do something to excite their fan base which has seen nothing but losing since the franchise returned in 1999. Taking the most exciting player in college football would definitely make a splash and invigorate the franchise, in addition to giving Cleveland a player that’s a potential difference maker and a potential franchise quarterback.
Whether Manziel will work out in the NFL is something that critics will continue to debate until he gets to the league and starts playing. But if there’s one team that needs to take a risk on a player like Manziel it’s the Browns. Even if Cleveland takes Manziel and he flames out they would be right back where they are now, so they have nothing to lose by taking him and a whole lot to gain.
Manziel has shown the ability to be a special player. He has unique abilities and the potential to turn a franchise around, which is exactly what the Browns need. That’s why they should be eying Manziel in next year’s draft and why they should take a risk and draft him.
Bryan Zarpentine is a New York Mets writer at RantSports.com. He also writes frequently about the NFL, College Football, College Basketball, and International Soccer. Like him on Facebook, follow him on twitter @BZarp and add him on Google.